COMPOSITIONS compositions

Mazurka in C sharp minor, incypit

Genre: Mazurka

Key: C-sharp minor

Opus/WN: Op. 6 No. 2

Creation date: 1830-1831

Acc. to Paderewski: X/2

Acc. to Turło: 52

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Pauline Plater


The second of the opus 6 mazurkas is in the key of C sharp minor, and its popularity outstrips that of the first. Here, too, Chopin juxtaposes, and then harmonises, different worlds. It is a purely rustic atmosphere that prevails, based from the lead-in on a contrarily accentuated fifths drone in the bass.

The principal theme, returning a couple of times, although in slightly altered form, has the rhythm of a mazur, though a lyrical, almost melancholy, character. Only in the cadence does it show its power and vigour. Hot on its heels comes an unquestionable mazur: swaggering and surly, but of the peasant, rather than gentrified, variety, as the Lydian key of the melody betokens. In the trio, we have a contrast of key and character: the melody of a kujawiak comes to the fore – this time joyous and almost primitive, the kind that one might find in Kolberg.

Like several other mazurkas, this piece has been the object of over-interpretation. Not pianistic, but poetical interpretation. Kornel Ujejski, a poet highly regarded during the second half of the century, author of the hymn ‘Z dymem pożarów’ [With the smoke of the fires] and the once famous ‘Maraton’ [Marathon], attempted, without any great success, to read into the C sharp minor Mazurka a thread of literary anecdote. In this admittedly less than cheerful work, he heard tragedy. In his versified interpretation of the Mazurka, entitled ‘Noc straszna’ [Terrible night] and beginning with the words ‘Tam na dworze zawierucha / w karczmie gra muzyka’ [There outside the wind blows hard / Inside the tavern, music], he would have us believe that Chopin’s music tells us the story of a girl who kills her fickle lover while he dances with another.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
[Cykl audycji "Fryderyka Chopina Dzieła Wszystkie"]
Polish Radio, program II


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